Jonathan Majors - the actor behind the MCU's Kang the Conqueror - broke his silence on the negative reviews Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania received upon its release.
Ant-Man 3 finally arrived to introduce Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror to the MCU. But alas, despite all the excitement, Quantumania didn't receive the reception many were hoping for, having garnered a franchise-low audience rating and the worst critic Rotten Tomatoes score in MCU history.
Despite all the criticism in several major areas, Majors continues to win audience affection for his performance as Kang, right as he is also being praised for his acting in the boxing epic Creed 3 and the bodybuilder flick Magazine Dreams.
MCU's Kang Actor Reacts to Ant-Man: Quantumania Reviews
Speaking with IndieWire, Kang actor Jonathan Majors addressed the negative reactions to Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, noting how it "doesn’t change how [he sees himself]."
The MCU newcomer explained how he is just "a performance within a story:"
“Well, I can jump to the end: It doesn’t change how I see myself, period. And the middle of the sandwich is… It’s all data, it’s all data. I think about… I’m a performance within a story. One thing I will say to my team after we’re leaving a premiere if everyone’s reading reviews, I’ll say, ‘How’s the movie doing? How’s the movie doing? How’s the movie doing?’ I try to clean my plate and take care of my part. And the response is: ‘You’re straight. You’re good. They like you.’ And then they tell me about the movie. And then, sometimes the movie is also on that level, and sometimes the movie [isn’t]."
Majors then touched on how people will always "have an opinion," all of which can bring different perspectives:
"But then you realize: it’s people. It goes back to what we were saying before, why I listen to you guys. They have an opinion. You always have an opinion… I’m no fool. I got 33 years of living, real living, where I go, ‘I know these are people writing it,’ right? These aren’t my Yale professors. These are not my NCA drama teachers. These are people who have kids and have a perspective, who probably have a religious upbringing or a lack there of, or live in this town, or live in this town, or want to be seen in this way, or don’t like being seen in this way."
He added that he looked at the aggregate score - referring to Ant-Man 3's 47% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes - and questioned, "what does that 47 mean when you also got this amount of box office?"
"So, I go, ‘Ok, cool…’ I look at the aggregate and, ‘Ok, cool, 47. Great…’ But what does that 47 mean when you also got this X amount of box office? … What do these things mean? In my opinion, it’s information, depending on who I’m talking to."
Majors then shared his thoughts on how "art is inherently political," which in a sense makes the theaters and art "the sort of democracy:"
"But, I am in the know. I won’t play myself. If you are a critic on the level, I’ll probably know you… and understand your politics. That’s also what it comes down to… ‘Art doesn’t have to be political, because art is inherently political.’ And if theater and art is the sort of democracy, which I believe, critics are political writers. You are a political writer. I am an actor, a politician, a citizen. All these things are true. All these things are true. I find it quite fascinating."
The Avengers 5 star continued to touch on how he's "a human being like anybody else:"
"That said, I’m a human being like anybody else. Someone says something crazy about the movie, I go, ‘Aw man.’ We got Creed  coming out, right? My team’s telling me about tracking and I say, ‘Wait, yeah, yeah, yeah… but don’t forget, we still got Ant-Man [and The Wasp: Quantumania] going, you know? We can’t forget about this kid, because we got this kid coming!’"
Majors revealed how he becomes "invested in these things," calling for audiences and critics to understand the time investment into creating these movies and how the reviews impact those involved:
"And that’s speaking to my heart, to my feelings. Because I’m invested in these things. That’s the other part. Like, guys, the artist and filmmakers that made these movies invested years sometimes into the 2 hours, 15 minutes you see. I’m not saying be nice, I’m just saying that understand that it’s a real transaction that’s happening when you put pen to paper, you know?”
The Kang actor previously explained to Higher Learning why he doesn't watch his own performances, explaining that he often tells his directors "no disrespect, but I'm probably [not] gonna watch it after this:"
"So I've seen that stuff, yeah. I mean, and I can just see a quick image and I'll go, 'Oh yeah, cool, cool.' But I actually– I'm trying to avert my eyes as much as possible... I told my directors like, 'This is all I get,' you know what I mean? That's all I get. I'm not gonna watch your film," he added. "No disrespect, but I'm probably [not] gonna watch it after this… So, I mean… if my homies are on the screen, I'll check it out."
Quantumania writer Jeff Loveness also recently shared his own reaction to the negative reviews, explaining how they "took [him] by surprise" and left him in a "pretty low spot." Nonetheless, the writer remained proud of the writing he delivered for Majors' Kang and Michelle Pfeiffer's Janet Van Dyne.
Find a full breakdown of Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania's bad reviews and seven biggest criticisms here.
Why Ant-Man 3's Jonathan Majors Has Nothing to Worry About
Clearly, Jonathan Majors had a lot to say with regard to his reactions to Ant-Man 3's negative reactions, but his comments essentially boil down to the fact that every viewer has a unique perspective to bring and a right to their own opinion.
Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania may have been slated by critics and audiences alike, but everybody seems to agree on one thing: Jonathan Majors delivered as Kang. To some extent, that may be the most important thing Quantumania had to prove given the major role Kang will have going forward.
Recently, Majors accrued near-universal praise for his roles as Ant-Man 3's Kang, Creed 3's Damian, and Magazine Dreams' Killian Maddox. So, even with Quantumania proving controversial, the Kang actor has nothing to be worried about with regard to how this could affect him going forward.
In fact, this could serve to further his career going forward as Hollywood becomes increasingly aware of Majors' talent. One can only wonder what the actor himself would think of the Ant-Man and The Wasp sequel, but alas, neither fans nor Majors will ever know as he avoids tuning into his own projects.
Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania is playing in theaters now.